CIOs shift from tech experts to strategic board members

Apurva Dalal, CIO at Adani Green Energy, encapsulates the CIO’s journey towards becoming a pivotal figure in managing IT infrastructure and contributing to strategic decision-making at the highest levels of the organization.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) stand at the forefront, navigating through challenges and setting benchmarks for innovation and adaptation. The role of the CIO has transcended technical expertise, merging into strategic business leadership. As technology reshapes industries, a CIO’s journey encapsulates this transformation’s essence.

In an exclusive interaction between Nisha Sharma, Principal Correspondent at CIO&Leader, and Apurva Dalal, CIO at Adani Green Energy, delves into the transformative journey of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), emphasizing the evolution from technical roles to strategic leadership within the corporate hierarchy. It outlines key milestones and achievements, particularly highlighting the significant shift towards cloud computing and integrating digital transformation strategies.

Apurva Dalal
Adani Green Energy

From Programmer to CIO-a strategic evolution

The journey from handling 3.5-inch floppy disks to leveraging micro SSDs embodies the remarkable evolution of technology. “When I started my career, I was just a programmer and grew up the chain to become a CIO,” said Apurva Dalal, emphasizing the transition from technical roles to strategic leadership. The integration of technology with business strategy has become crucial, allowing CIOs to not only manage IT infrastructure but also to contribute to boardroom discussions, focusing on digital transformation and technological advancements.

Embracing change and leading innovation

A pivotal milestone for many CIOs has been the shift towards cloud computing. The decision to move 80% of workloads from on-premise to the cloud highlighted a change in technology and a shift in mindset towards embracing flexibility, scalability, and partnership with cloud providers. “Cloud was a new thing… we had to ensure our data security and manage complex integrations seamlessly,” Apurva Dalal shares, underscoring the complexities and deliberations involved in such a significant transition.

Another significant achievement has been the management and analysis of data through technologies like data lakes, enabling businesses to make quicker, data-driven decisions. This digital transformation era has seen everything becoming connected through IoT devices, necessitating a robust infrastructure for data management and analysis.

Building and managing high-performing teams

The key to success for any CIO is leading and inspiring their teams. CIOs can cultivate high-performing teams by breaking down hierarchical barriers and fostering an environment of learning and growth. “I sit with them, understand what they are doing, and encourage them to upskill,” says Apurva Dalal, highlighting the importance of leading by example and maintaining a flat organizational structure to encourage openness and collaboration.

Vendor management- a partnership model

In managing vendor relationships, the approach shifts from viewing vendors as external entities to considering them partners in the organization’s journey. “We manage by SLA, but it’s a partnership… it’s about working together to achieve our goals,” Apurva Dalal explains, emphasizing the collaborative approach and shared accountability in vendor management.

The future of technology and inclusivity in tech

Reflecting on the technological advancements over the years, from the advent of the internet to the emergence of AI and machine learning, the CIO acknowledges the transformative power of technology. However, they also stress the importance of upskilling and adapting to leverage these technologies effectively.

Addressing the gender disparity in tech, Apurva Dalal notes significant progress, with more women entering tech fields and assuming leadership roles. “It is changing, and we are seeing more women in tech and leadership positions… It’s about working as colleagues, hand in hand,” they remark, highlighting the evolving landscape of inclusivity in technology.

As we look towards the future, Apurva Dalal’s journey exemplifies the blend of strategic vision, technological expertise, and leadership acumen required to navigate the complexities of the digital age. It’s a testament to the dynamic role CIOs play in shaping the technological and business landscapes, underscoring the continuous need for adaptation, learning, and inclusivity.

Image Source: Freepik

Share on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *